The Beginner’s Guide To Fire Island Pines

Where to Stay

housePhoto: Wikimedia Commons

When I grow up, I want to be a professional beach-homeowner. After staying in one, I’m sold. I mean, tastefully decorating a home I don’t really live in very often and renting it out to a bunch of queens for the summer? Yes please.

Until then, there’s always the less glamorous role of a beach-homerenter. Or sharer. If you have a group of friends, you can split the cost and live like the one percent. Or at least the 3.5 percent of the 1 percent. Sharing is caring, kids and there are three different kinds of shares you can choose from:

Full share – you and your group of friends have “shared” in renting a house for the summer
Half share –  you’ve rented it every other weekend
Quarter share – you get about 4 – 5 weekends, or one per month. (I was told Jon Wilner of Pines Harbor Realty has been the go-to share guru for the Pines for over 20 years.)

If you’re scared of commitment, there’s The Botel, where the average room will run you $99 on weekdays and $2-300 on weekends, depending on whether or not it’s a party weekend.

This summer the Pines will launch Pinesbooker, which is basically like an AirBNB or a less skeezy Craigslist for Fire Island. When people need to sell a room or a part of their share, they list it on Pinesbooker and people can rent rooms/spaces for single weekends on the fly.

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  • muscl954

    Lester Brathwaite, I love your writing!

  • MikeE

    kind of strange seeing that Quebec flag in the last picture.

  • knoxxy2008

    Cool pictures.

  • Joetx

    Hey Lester, as a BGM, how would you describe the level of racial diversity in Fire Island?

  • Lester Brathwaite

    @Joetx: Not gonna lie to ya, it’s not super diverse, but there was a nice (and surprising) mix of people over all.

  • bobbyo2

    Thank you for a wonderful guide. I am a 64 years young African-American male whose first visit to Fire Island was last Summer, at the invitation of a friend who, has a house there. The experience for me was exciting, anxious, and terrifying knowing I didn’t fit the stereotype of the average island goer.
    There is not much diversity there and I would not be able to hide there. I am an artist and the island is a tremendous source of inspiration along with peace and quiet. The fun starts on the ferry from Sayville.
    It’s certainly worth the trip, go, play, relax and enjoy.
    Have a great Summer!!!

  • Joetx

    @Lester Brathwaite: Thanks, Lester, as well as bobbyo2, for the input re: racial diversity (or rather, the lack thereof) in Fire Island. Although I was expecting that, it’s disappointing nevertheless.

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